It’s been almost three decades since Johan Huibers was struck by inspiration to build an ark. The Dutchman had been reading “Noah’s Ark” to his children as a bedtime story when he suddenly got the idea to create his very own. After telling his wife about his idea, she was not quite on board with his plan. Instead, she made a joke that their family would “go on a vacation to the moon” if he went through and finished it. Despite her joking, Huibers went ahead with his plan, and according to Bored Panda, his first version of the ark was built back in 2006.
As Euro News reported, part of the reason that Huibers thought so long and hard about building the ark is because of a nightmare he had about major floods happening in the Netherlands. According to Huibers, when he was 24-years-old, he started dreaming of these floods. That is when he chose to get on with a plan for building an ark of his own. He started with the building schematics according to what is found in the Old Testament. But his first version was “only half the size of the one in the Bible,” so he decided to go back to the drawing board.
In 2008, Huibers’ project gained the support of several amateur carpenters who wanted to help him build a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark using the instructions laid out in the Bible. The project had quite a hefty price tag as it cost almost $1.6 million to build. When it was finished in 2012, they opened it up to the public.
Huibers did state at the time, “We’re not professional boatmakers. A lot of stuff here is a bit crooked.”
Regardless, the ship was quite detailed. It was built using a steel frame as well as both American cedar and pine wood. The ark is roughly the size of a five-story building, as it’s 75 feet tall. The other dimensions are 95 feet wide, 410 feet long, and it weighs an impressive 2,500 tons. The ark can also hold more than 5,000 people at once – much roomier than just two-by-two.
The ark proved to be quite a popular tourist attraction in Dordrecht, Netherlands. But it was later shut down due to differences between Huibers and town officials. Then, Huibers had plans to sail the ark to Brazil in time for the Rio Olympics in 2016, but those plans never happened because of safety concerns. Not sure what to do with his ark, Huibers got the idea to head to Israel as it “makes sense to take it to God’s land.” However, wildfires in Israel meant that his other plan did not come to fruition yet again.
Even so, Huibers has not given up his hope to make it to Israel with his ark. Because the ark has no motor, he will require tugboats in order to get it to its destination, meaning that he’s looking at a $1.3 million trip. He is now asking for donations to help make the trip happen.
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